Frühe Ansätze für die Entstehung einer estnischen Mittelschicht. Dorpat (Tartu) im 16. und 17. Jahrhundert

Georg von Rauch


The repeated attacks of Ivan the Terrible on Livonia, State of the Teutonic Order, in the beginning led to a vacuum in the political power structure, before Sweden and Poland divided the country between them. The Hanseatic and cathedral town of Dorpat was a centre of the commercial activities of the Hansa in the Middle Ages. Now German Citizens have been deported several times; trade has been brought to a standstill. Adventurers and peripheral figures came to the fore, not always to the disadvantage of trade and commerce. There was often talk about the former ones; almost more interesting, however, were two Estonian Selfmademen, who have been hardly paid attention to till now - the carrier and house owner Kuiwleha and the tailor and auxiliary preacher Kempf who have become chief witnesses of these confused times by the process records. 60 years ago, town archivist Christiani called attention to this fact. A similar witness in the district of Dorpat was an Estonian sexton, Hans Kässo, who in true popular poetry intoned his mourning songs on the almost destroyed town of Dorpat. The sextons and miliers in the country became characteristic examples for the people. The Swedish rule was very kind to peasants, especially in education (Forselius' Teacher Training College!). Swedish and German pastors began to translate the bible. In the 19th Century the agrarian structure was decidedly improved by the Cooperation of nobility and crown (now Alexander I) till the abolition of soccage (Hamilkar von Fölkersahm's reforms).